Diary Of A Busker Day 291

Diary Of A Busker Day 291 Wednesday October 3rd 2012 Winchester High Street 1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 12:50-1:56pm, 2. Opposite Vodafone, Time: 2:36-3:43pm
I’ve barely finished the first song when I notice someone’s turned on some music in a shop across the road; not loud enough to drown me out but loud enough that I can hear it behind my playing. Hmm…maybe someone doesn’t like me! Actually, I’ve noticed this before, not long ago. They’ll turn the music on then it’ll go quiet for a few minutes, then it’ll start up again, quite often just as I start another song, which sounds like someone’s making a point!
Walter crosses the road during Albatross – ‘Same old tune,’ he says again, so I stop, and start Bridge Over The River Kwai just as he reaches me, and he gives me the two fingers! ‘Hey, I learned that for you! Took me over an hour!’ I say. ‘You need a haircut,’ he says. ‘Oh, do I? Thanks, Walter.’ ‘Yeah, there’s a shop in Jewry Sreet. Nice crumpet, too.’ ‘Sorry?’ ‘The place near the music shop, you know?’ he says. ‘Yeah, I know. My son goes there when he gets his haircut.’ ‘Yeah, well he’ll tell you – nice crumpet there, cutting your hair.’ Nice crumpet at the hairdressers, the cheeky old git! He’s still got it, old Walter. Or he’s still trying to get it.
After an hour and a bit, I decide to leave as I’ve begun to limit my sets so they’re not more than an hour and a half, to stop everyone (including me) from having too much of a good thing. I’ve done a bit better than usual and also sold a CD so, quit while ahead/while the going’s good, etc. As I’m heading off, I locate the source of the mysterious piped music; the shop that used to be the tiny Reflex shop, diagonally opposite to where I play. It’s now something called Tinc and there’s a short bloke there, standing in the doorway with his hands in his pockets, watching me as I walk by. He doesn’t smile or acknowledge me, or nod, like some do. Sod him.
After my break, I think I might have witnessed the tail-end of a robbery or an attempted one. Just after I start my set, two huge black guys run out of the Ernst Jones jewellers, past me and around the corner just to my right. At least they have the courtesy to avoid my bucket, unlike that girl from awhile back. A minute later, a shop girl stands at the door, goes back in, then another comes to the door and is talking on a phone, then she goes back in…five minutes later, a CPSO arrives. Ooh – exiting!
Local drongo Noah comes up. He’s got a ragged light blue, Fred Perry-ish shirt in a bag from a charity shop. ‘It’s extra large, you can pay ten quid for this, new. You interested?’ ‘Uh, no.’ ‘OK,’ and he’s off.
A man gives me a £5 note during While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Any song which earns a £5 note is bestowed instant Song Of The Day status. Walking up the road afterwards, I chat to Monica and buy one of her Big Issues; the 21st birthday edition. She says they’re having a big celebration in Southampton – am I going? I say no, definitely not. I tell her how I started busking there and how bad it was. I ask her how she’s done today. ‘Well…OK.’ Wow, she’s never said that! It’s always, ‘Is no good!’ I ask when she started. ‘Since nine o’clock. Is long time, eight hours.’ ‘Is it eight hours?’ ‘Yes, almost,’ she points to the big clock hanging outside one of the buildings; it’s a quarter to four – actually seven hours, she’s been out. Long enough to stand outside selling, or trying to sell magazines, though. I couldn’t do it. And the weather’s definitely getting colder.
Earnings: £33.36 + 1

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